E. P. Hingston

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E. P. Hingston
BornEdward Peron Hingston
circa 1823
Died1876
NationalityEnglish

E. P. Hingston (c.1823-1876) played a major role in managing and promoting 19th century magicians. He was also a friend of Mark Twain and manager of a rival humorist Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne).

Biography

Hingston chaperoned John Henry Anderson through England and Australia, traveled with Robert Heller, Dr. Lynn and several other magicians[1]

Hingston originally intended for the medical profession but launched into a literary career writing for various magazines including Chambers London Journal.[2]

His style of writing show bills was so brilliant that it was copied by Toby Hamilton, one of the best show bill writer of the circus.

Between 1856 and 1863 Hingston worked for the "Wizard of the North", John Henry Anderson, on tours of Australia and the United States as agent and general manager. Hingston was as great a magician with his pen as the Wizard of the North was with his wand. Much of Anderson's success could be attributable to Hingston flowery language used in advertisements that appear in papers and billboards displaying tempting word pictures.

E. P. Hingston had a brother James in Australia, both bachelors, Bohemians and writers at the time.[3]

Hingston met humorist Artemus Ward in Cincinnati in 1861[4], and from 1863 to 1865 was his agent and friend on Ward's American tour, as well as, since June 1866, in England.

Mark Twain had enjoyed several days of revelry with Hingston and Ward in December 1863, when Ward's American tour brought them to Virginia City.[5]

In the book "Travels and Adventures of Dr. Lynn", it tells about a practical joke played upon Brigham Young, during a visit to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1864 which was assisted by Hinston.

Dr. Lynn, then still known as Simmons, dispatched a message to Brigham Young that he had to see him on an urgent matter. When Young ushered the magician in, Simmons claimed that the new patent leather boots on the prophet's feet were a pair he had left behind during a visit the night before. The prophet disagreed. His boots had been custom made and he said there was not another pair like them in Utah. The magician countered that his boots had his name in blood-red letters on the bottoms. Young removed one boot and turned it sole upwards noticing "SIMMONS" in bright red! Yanking off the remaining boot another fiery red "SIMMONS" blazed up from its sole. When the prophet regained his speech he offered the wizard a high post and his daughters in marriage if he would become a Mormon. Simmons said later that he was tempted, but he refused the generous offer.

While Simmons and Brigham Young were talking on the evening before the trick, it was Hingston who dipped a pen in red ink, approached the prophet from behind during a moment when he had his knee resting on a chair and scrawled the wizard's name on the sole. After they left, Hingston, in great glee, confesssed to his prank. Simmons got Hingston to promise to keep the matter secret and arranged to perform the trick the next day confident that the prophet would not notice the writing until his attention was called to it.

After Simmons moved on toward the east, Young must have reconsidered the events as it is said that the prophet went to the tabernacle and publicly thanked the Lord that the devil had left town.[6]

In 1864, Hingston begins managing Robert Heller. Hingston convinces Heller to basically 'lighten up' his act and he may have also been the one to encourage him to add his music to the show. Although Heller had a reputation of being a great wit, he was not able to capitalize on the talent until Hingston suggested that he imitate the style of Artemus Ward. Heller opens at 585 Broadway in 1864 in a show called "Sallie Diabolpue". He uses a clever advertising slogan, no doubt created by Hingston:[7]

''Shakespeare wrote well, 
Dickens wrote Weller; 
Anderson was H---, 
But the greatest is HELLER''

Up until his death in 1867, Hingston was the manager for Dr. Lynn.[8]

Books

  • The genial showman; being the reminiscences of the life of Artemus Ward (1870)
  • ARTEMUS WARD'S LECTURE (As delivered at the Egyptian Hall, London.) with T. W. Robertson 1869)
  • Biography of John Henry Anderson (1858) published serially in The People's Friend from June-August 1901.

References

  1. Conjurors Monthly Magazine, August 1908
  2. A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities By EDWIN A. DAWES, M.I.M.C. 78. THE DIARIES OF E. L. BLANCHARD: 1860-1889 Magic Circular SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 1981
  3. MAGICIANS—PAST AND PRESENT In Australia and New Zealand. By Robert Kudarz MUM, August 1919
  4. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sep 20, 1870 p 4
  5. http://www.marktwainproject.org/xtf/view?docId=letters/UCCL00118.xml;style=letter
  6. MUM, SEPTEMBER, 1951
  7. http://deancarnegie.blogspot.com/2011/01/go-to-hellers-part-2.html
  8. Who was Doctor Lynn? By Allister Hardiman, Magical Past-Times, illusionata.com



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